One of the first things I encourage others to reflect on in their leadership journey is the ability to lead themselves first.
This flows out of the belief that the best leaders lead by example. The expectations a leader places on others should be reflected in the expectations a leader has of him or herself. Leaders lead themselves first. The example produced by this type of self-leadership gives a leader credibility and influence with those around him or her.
One of the areas where self-leadership becomes evident is in the area of discipline. Napoleon Hill said, “It’s not what you are going to do, but it’s what you are doing now that counts.” Many unsuccessful people have what I call “someday sickness” because they could do some things to bring value to their lives right now. But they put them off and say they’ll do them someday. Their motto is “one of these days.” But as the old English proverb says, “One of these days means none of these days.”
For me, discipline is closely tied to consistency. Our self-leadership finds its power through the efforts, habits, and practices we’re able to perform on a daily basis. One day at a time. But also, many days in a row over a period of time. Discipline isn’t a once in a lifetime event. It’s the consistency of small steps in the same direction that produces something of great value later in the future.
Think about it this way. If you collected one quote a day, or wrote one page a day, or read one chapter a day, or did one workout a day, or wrote one thank you note a day. That would make for a fairly productive day. Continue Reading…
…is just like any other day.
Except you’re in a lot better shape then you were 92 days ago.
Except you find your pants don’t really fit anymore.
Except you don’t eat a lot of junk food (if any).
Except you feel like you need to get a good workout in.
Except you have developed some really healthy habits. Continue Reading…
Today is Day #91 of P90X for me. It’s over…but it’s not over.
All I can say is…What a ride!
Near the end of June 2010, in the midst of a fairly mundane summer, I’d had enough. I weighed the most I’d ever weighed. I would jog around the block and it would take me an hour to recover. While I was pretty strong, there was no stamina or much definition in my muscles. In fact, I was beginning to think the only thing that would bring about a healthy change in my life was some type of crisis.
Some of my friends had gone through P90X before (or at least attempted to). I saw ads for the program during late night infomercials. I didn’t know much about it except that the before and after pics demonstrated amazing results.I really questioned if I was in good enough shape to start a program like this. P90X comes with a lot of disclaimers about the level of intensity it demands.
But I made a decision one day this past June – I had this exact thought: I need a mountain to climb.
We all have standards we live by. Some of them are based on the expectations of others. Some are self-imposed.
I recently unveiled a “standard” on our campus. This came about through various conversations and initiatives centered around the goal of creating a better student experience on our campus. We wanted to emphasize the potential in each person, as well as the capacity we all share for constant improvement. It was our desire to begin to change the culture of our campus by introducing language we could all use.
Thus, “The Standard” was launched. It simply says…
Doing your very best for the very best of NNU!
When we talk about a standard, we’re describing a rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgment. Coupled with the idea of doing one’s very best (def: of the highest quality, excellence, or standing) we hope to demonstrate the connection between each person who shares the common bond of being a part of this unique community known as NNU (Northwest Nazarene University). Continue Reading…
This morning I listened to a presentation from the founder of charity:water. I’ve heard the message many times before. I’ve heard it from people fighting hunger, people fighting injustice, people fighting poverty. There’s a lot of need out there. There’s also a lot of messages that encourage people to get involved and invest in meeting those needs.
This morning I listened…and decided to act. We don’t always act. This morning I decided to act.
Maybe it’s because water is such a simple and abundant resource in my own life I take it for granted. I started to imagine what it would be like to go without water, or to realize the water I was drinking would be the thing that would make me sick…or kill me.
Water contributes to poverty alleviation in many ways – through sanitation services, water supply, affordable food and enhanced resilience of poor communities to disease, climate shocks and environmental degradation.
- 3rd UN World Water Development Report, 2009
charity: water 2010 September Campaign: Clean Water for the Bayaka from charity: water on Vimeo.
Sometimes the only thing that’s needed to change a problem into a possibility is to change people’s perspectives. I want to encourage you today to change your perspective on our globe’s most precious resource: it’s people. Realize that people are made up of about 75% water. People don’t survive without it.
Today, I join thousands of others in making certain sacrifices of my own abundance to help someone else have the hope of clean water.
Will you consider it as well?
Take a look at the results from the 2010 Junior Achievement’s “Teens and Entrepreneurship” Survey. According to the survey, Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) is the person most admired among these young entrepreneurs. Jobs beat out the likes of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Tony Hawk (professional skateboarder) and Jay-Z (rapper).
What’s most notable about the results is that making money wasn’t the biggest issue these students most admired. In fact, characteristics that recognized “wealth and fame” only earned about 10% of the results. The characteristic that earned the highest ranking (31%) was: They made a difference in people’s lives.
The image shown in this post was taken from the report. Here’s the results from the following survey question:
Many leaders and celebrities have been successful starting their own businesses. Which of the following entrepreneurs do you admire MOST?
Steve Jobs – 23%
J.K. Rowling – 17%
Oprah Winfrey – 14%
Jay-Z – 13%
Tony Hawk – 9%
Mark Zuckerberg – 9%
Russell Simmons – 6%
Stella McCartney – 5%
None of these – 4%
Don’t know – 1%
I found this survey to be extremely hopeful. The survey was conducted by telephone to 1000 students between the ages of 12-17. These are all Generation iY kids. If you read my review of Dr. Tim Elmore’s latest book, Generation iY (read it here), you’ll note the potential of a bleak future for this emerging generation. It’s results like this that show that somebody out there is working hard to prepare our students to tackle the obstacles that lie ahead for them.
What do I mean by results like this?
The results that rose to the top of the list didn’t deal with fame and fortune, but were based on impact and the improved lives of others. In a world neckdeep with folks trying to find their five minutes of noteriety, these students’ responses reflect a greater concern for the world around them. Success seemed to be defined as the ability to make a difference more than the knack to make a buck.
You can download the one page pdf of the results here. Hats off to the Junior Achievement organization for their work. I trust you find this material helpful.
Picture credit: Junior Achievement “Teens and Entrepreneurship” Survey
Sharing is the platform for social media.
Sharing is the skeleton key that unlocks the door to opportunity.
Sharing is the new marketing tool.
Sharing is the ethic of an online community.
Sharing is the way to begin a conversation.
Sharing is the artform of a digital generation.
Sharing is the antithesis of secrets.
Sharing is the avenue through which followers become friends.
When you’re a two year old, your toybox is your most prized possession. Looking across the carpet at that other two year old who came over for a play date and happens to have your lego’s in his mouth causes you to lash out and grab it with instinctual ferocity.
At that instant, the loving and caring and somewhat-embarrassed-by-your-proprietary-outburst parent instructs you that you need to learn to share. It’s a lesson we all have to learn. Sometimes, we find we’re still learning it.
Today I’m grateful for the millions of people on the internet who are willing to share their stuff. They give it away. They put it on the web for anyone and everyone to see (and use). Sharing is a very satisfying currency in the internet economy.
This is why I created an entire page dedicated to resources (only one of which has a price tag attached). I want to offer some of my best stuff to others. I find there’s great value in sharing my stuff.
But more than tooting my own horn, I think it’s even more meaningful when I’m able to share the good work of others. The best kind of sharing is when I find something of value someone else created and point others toward it (by tweeting, linking, digging, stumbling, liking, or posting about it).
The beauty of this whole thing is that the folks on the internet recognize and reward those who take the time to share. It’s the law of sowing and reaping. If you help enough other people in your sharing, you’ll be amazed at how much comes back to you in tangible and intangible ways.
So let’s start sharing people. Here’s some practical ideas to get you started:
- Write a post about someone else’s blog.
- Tweet about someone else’s accomplishment or article.
- Press the “like” button as often as you can.
- Review someone’s book and post it online in more than one place.
- Spend a little cash to encourage someone else’s art.
- Post a comment on someone else’s blog.
- Always say thank you whenever someone does one of these things for you.
What are some other ways we can share what we have with others?
Alright, for those of you who don’t have a lot of time, I’ve got the short and sweet review:
On the cover of the book, Generation iY, there’s a quote from Mark Bauerlein that calls this book “a must-read guide for parents, mentors, and teachers…” I wholeheartedly agree. So much so that I’m encouraging my boss to buy 30 copies for our Student Development personnel and everyone on our University Administrative Cabinet. This is more than a book, it’s a resource! Buy 30 copies and give’em to parents, mentors, teachers, and coaches.
There you go. If you’re still reading, then lets dig a little deeper into Dr. Tim Elmore’s latest book.
I’ll start by telling you that the beginning of the book, in fact, the premise that Elmore writes this book from…is depressing. It’s not good news. Elmore believes this generation, Generation iY (those kids born after 1990) are in trouble – for a variety of reasons.
The first chapters of Generation iY paint a picture of a generation headed for a trainwreck. Elmore describes the wide variety of influences that have resulted in a group of young people who are “overwhelmed, overconnected, overprotected, and overserved.” Continue Reading…